Munich Personal RePEc Archive

“For Being Aboriginal”: Economic Perspectives on Pre-Holocaust Genocide and Mass Killings

Brauer, Jurgen and Caruso, Raul (2015): “For Being Aboriginal”: Economic Perspectives on Pre-Holocaust Genocide and Mass Killings.

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We present two schemata with which to parse cases of genocide and mass killings (GMK) for economic content. The first schema enumerates several ways in which economic aspects affect and are affected by episodes of GMK and roams across various economic concepts and theories that might be applied to case material. The second schema takes one specific economic theoretical framework, the theory of constrained optimization, and suggests how to employ it systematically to examine (1) perpetrators’, victims’, and third parties’ objectives, (2) the cost of perpetration, escape, or intervention, and (3) the resources available to pay (or fail to pay) these costs. In addition, since much of the GMK literature deals with cases following the 1948 codification of the word genocide in international law, we illustrate the economic concepts and theories with pre-Holocaust examples. The intent of the chapter is to speak to both, economists and genocide scholars.

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